Two weeks ago, at a restaurant in the Cayman Islands, TCS alumnus, Oscar Da Costa ’95, walked up to our table and introduced himself. I had never met Oscar previously, but he had noticed our TCS nametags. While we were relaxing at the end of hosting an alumni event, Oscar, by pure coincidence, was at an adjacent table with his wife and friends. He had only recently moved back to Cayman from Trinidad.
Over the years, we have had many conversations with students, parents, staff and alumni about what they view as “the best thing about TCS.”
Depending upon the constituency, we hear a range of different responses.
I think my experience as a teenager was similar to many people going through adolescence. “Back in the day” most of us just wanted to fit in. We wanted to either be a part of the large collective status quo (e.g. keeping a low profile or being an athlete), or perhaps be a part of a smaller subculture of the prevailing norm (e.g. differentiating themselves by wearing different clothing, listening to different music). One thing I do remember clearly was feeling that you were “vulnerable” if you did well academically.
With all the concerning media reports that are circulating around us seemingly every day, you would imagine this would take a toll on young people.
It would be understandable if kids felt powerless, pessimistic about the future, angry that adults have messed up the world they will soon inherit. Despite this, as I wrote on my blog recently, I find the Trinity College School community refreshingly kind, caring, positive, active and, yes, optimistic.
Last week, TCS’s Grade 11 and Grade 12 students had the pleasure of listening to and learning from Canadian Shane Koyczan, an internationally recognized spoken word poet, writer and author. Some of you might remember Mr. Koyczan from the Opening Ceremonies of the 2010 Olympic Games in which he spoke about what it means to be a Canadian: “We're more than just hockey and fishing lines off of the rocky coast of the Maritimes…”
This week in the life of the School, and the world, has reinforced my appreciation for two men that I most admire. On Monday, our choir sang MLK, a song written about civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr. At the end of this week, U.S. President Barack Obama will officially leave the White House.
When I broach the subject of goals, many people respond with, “Goals? Really? What’s the point?”
But, to me, the alternative of not setting goals for yourself, is to let others indirectly set them for you. Then you just hope that somehow you will be a beneficiary.
Recently, I asked a very close friend about his goals for 2017. He mentioned that there are several professional goals that he was hoping to achieve. Admirable. And something most of us would benefit from doing. But that actually wasn’t the point of my question; I should have specified.
Some of us ask our family members to provide us with a list of items that they might like to receive as a Christmas gift. I thought I would switch it up a wee bit and write a list of my own, with a twist.
Below, is my list of 12 things that I love and appreciate about Christmas at TCS, inspired by the 91st Carol Services held this past weekend, as well as morning chapel service this Monday where the entire student body gathered.
The forecasted low for Port Hope, Ontario, Canada, today is -21 degrees Celsius or -6 degrees Fahrenheit. With the windchill factor, it feels more like -30 degrees Celsius or -22 degrees Fahrenheit.
I love to have days like this. It’s a bit like running the Oxford Cup every year in late November or playing golf in the rain; maybe it isn’t quite comfortable, but it is invigorating! For others, it might be the equivalent of jumping from a sauna right into the snow. These temperatures make you feel alive!
One day, this past October, on my way from The Lodge to the Memorial Chapel, I walked over a 4-inch piece of purple plastic. I am not sure exactly what it was; it looked like the lid or a top of a container of gum or candies. It was on the pavement, beside a scattering of recently fallen leaves, not far from The Lodge. As I spotted the purple plastic top and continued to consider what it was, I also thought, “I should pick up that little piece of purple plastic.” Then, I proceeded to walk on to my destination.